Friday, April 15, 2011

LAAD 2011, Rafale sensor fusion

"LAAD – Defence & Security, the most important trade show for the defence and security industry in Latin America – takes place every two years bringing together Brazilian and international companies that specialise in supplying equipment and services to all three major services of the Armed Forces, Police, special forces and security services, as well as consultants and government agencies."

During the 3rd day of the trade show, last wednesday April 14th, Dassault has presented the Rafale to the press.
One of the slide of the presentation released by Poder Aereo is explaining how the Rafale sensor fusion works. I think this slide is rather interesting as it might show how the Rafale is operating during BVR combats :

The first Rafale, using its radar, remains at long range and feeds the second Rafale (mica shooter) through the data link. The mica shooter get much closer (mica range) to the bandits, but in full passive mode, using the OSF and Spectra to identify the targets and improve the targeting data. When the missiles have been shot, the shotter brakes away, and let the first Rafale guide its missiles from a safe range.

This is a very tricky situation for the bandits because :

1- The closest rafale shooting the mica is hidding and thus, is difficult to detect (no EM emissions) but remains the primary threat until it breaks away.
2- The second rafale, is clearly showing itself, radar on, but it remains out of missile range.
3- the mica are not coming from the rafale which is guiding them

1 comment:

  1. This capability was proven in 2007 with the "over-the-shoulder" firing of a MICA missile.

    and scheme here

    On June 11, 2007, MBDA’s MICA multi-mission air-to-air missile successfully destroyed its intended target following launch from an operational French Air Force Rafale F2 aircraft.
    For this firing, a complex combat scenario was created with a MICA-armed Rafale (with its radar in silent mode) being chased and threatened by an “enemy aircraft” (actually a C22 target drone) approaching at a distance of several nautical miles from its rear sector. A second Rafale, acting as wingman (and maintaining situational awareness with a combination of the RBE2 radar, the FSO sensor and the Link 16 data link), acquired the target and provided target designation information to the first aircraft via the Link 16. On being launched, MICA (the RF variant in this case) carried out an extremely sharp 180° maneuver (an “over-the-shoulder” maneuver) in its inertial guidance phase, a maneuver made possible by the missile’s exceptional agility provided by its thrust vector control feature. MICA then advanced towards the designated target which it destroyed.
    Patrick Tramier, MBDA’s Director of Programs, said: “This latest success proves MICA’s extreme efficiency in carrying out an out of sector self defense role with target data provided by a support aircraft. It is just one of a series of successful tests within the current training campaign which has shown MICA’s exceptional performance against targets flying at different altitudes and speeds as well as targets carrying out evasive maneuvers and within a countermeasures environment”.